Profile and Department: Professor, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto
Lab: Shoichet Lab
The Shoichet research laboratory is focused on the technologies that underpin regenerative medicine and specifically those that relate to the interaction of cells and materials in defining the cellular microenvironment. To this end, Shoichet’s research group has created well-defined 3-dimensional chemical scaffolds through advanced laser patterning methodologies resulting in immobilized concentration gradients of both cell adhesive peptides and growth factors. These scaffolds are being advanced for neural tissue engineering and also being used as tools to answer more fundamental neuroscience questions. Her laboratory has also innovated new drug delivery techniques, including an injectable hydrogel for localized delivery to the injured spinal cord and brain where the hydrogel
itself has shown some therapeutic benefit. Another way to achieve local release of therapeutic agents, is through targeted delivery and to this end, Shoichet’s group has designed a self-assembled, biodegradable nanoparticle system that allows facile modification with antibodies and targeting ligands to cells that over-express the corresponding receptors, such as those in cancer.
Shoichet’s interdisciplinary research is built on successful collaboration with several research groups with complimentary expertise.